European Union delegation visits Kashmir

Srinagar, Nov 24 ( A five-member European Union (EU) delegation arrived here Tuesday on a two-day visit to assess the situation and understand the problems faced by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

The EU delegation called on some senior separatist leaders and also interacted with human rights activists here.

The delegation comprises of Swedish Ambassador Lars Olof Lindgren, Belgian Ambassador Jean M. Deboutte, Spanish Ambassador Ion de la Riva, Second Secretary (Political Affairs) in the Swedish embassy Oscar Schlyter and EU Ambassador Danielle.

The delegation called on Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Muhammad Yasin Malik earlier Tuesday.

Malik told the delegation that the people of Kashmir wanted total independence. He also highlighted human rights violations in the state.

When some reporters asked the Swedish ambassador the purpose of his visit to Kashmir, he said: “We visit different parts of India to understand the problems faced by the people there.”

The EU delegation felt that the human rights situation was not ideal in the state, but added that “things are moving in the positive direction”.

Later, the EU delegation met Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the moderate Hurriyat group’s chief.

Farooq reportedly informed the EU delegation about the human rights situation in Kashmir and also stressed the need for a peaceful settlement of the Kashmir problem.

The EU delegates also told reporters that they had met some senior army and police officials to have a first hand account about the security situation in the state.